India and France discussed strengthening of ties in all areas, including defence and security, when Philippe Etienne, Diplomatic Advisor to French President Emanuel Macron, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here in New Delhi….reports Asian Lite News
“Etienne briefed the Prime Minister on the strengthening ties between India and France in all sectors, including in the areas of defence and security,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
Indo-French ties have received a boost in the last two years with high-level engagements and expansion of the already strong cooperation.
Modi has made two bilateral visits to France since assuming office — in April 2015 and again in June this year when he met the newly elected Macron.
He also visited Paris in November 2015 for the Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit during which he and then French President Francois Hollande jointly launched the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.
Defence cooperation between the two countries have been growing within the framework of structured talks under the Indo-French Defence Cooperation Agreement.
In September last year, India signed a deal to purchase 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition.
Like India, France has also been a victim of multiple terrorist attacks.
“The Prime Minister said that defence and security are two important pillars of the India-France Strategic Partnership, and appreciated the growing bilateral engagement in all sectors,” the PMO statement said.
“The Prime Minister also said that he looks forward to receiving President Macron in India at his earliest convenience,” it added.
Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also held a meeting with Etienne.
“EAM @SushmaSwaraj met Mr. Philippe Etienne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President, held discussion on wide ranging bilateral issues,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.